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Three watercolours depicting, from top: a sprig of Huntbois Strawberries; a sprig of Medlar; and both a sprig of Cherries and a pair of separate ones alongside.
These watercolours are pasted onto an album page from Alexander Marshal's Florilegium, or flower-book, which comprises 159 folios depicting over 600 different plants as well as animals, birds and insects. As was typical for such an album, the watercolours were arranged more or less seasonally by Marshal, who also annotated the versos of the sheets with identifications, in English and Latin, of the plants depicted. Marshal was a gentleman with strong connections amongst the seventeenth-century gardening milieu, and the Florilegium records the flowers that he had in his own gardens and those in the gardens of his friends.
These three particular works were not part of Marshal's original Florilegium but rather inserted at the end of the volume along with a small corpus of other drawings, probably in the eighteenth century. They may have been executed by Marshal as a type of still-life cabinet miniature, and intended to be framed and hung rather than pasted into an album.
Descriptive Medium: 'Watercolour and bodycolour on vellum'